Tuesday, December 8, 2009


JOSEPH—The Man God Chose To Raise His Son
Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-23

It is a challenge for families today to find godly role models that have the right values for their own family. Of all the families in human history, I would like to suggest one that every one us should try to be like. This family consists of history's best known parents. Their picture is on the cover of hundreds of millions of Christmas cards that are mailed all around the world at this time.

When God selected this family, He was saying, this is the family I want My Son raised in. Last week we learned what kind of woman Mary was. In this message we will take a close look Joseph—The Man God Chose to Raise His Son.

In most Christmas programs, Joseph is treated as a mere extra—He often takes a backseat to shepherds, sheep, and wise men. He brings no gifts, he sings no songs and he says no lines. He just stands there in his sandals and his robes, watching the scene unfold around him.

Joseph has been referred to as “the unsung hero of the Christmas story.” Joseph played a major role in the birth and life of Christ. He was an ordinary man that God used in an extraordinary way. Not one word of anything he ever said is recorded in the Bible. His actions speak much louder than anything he may have said.

I.The FAITH of Joseph—Joseph was a man of FAITH!

Joseph was a JUST man (v. 19). To be JUST requires faith— “... The just shall live by faith...” (Gal. 3:11).
The requirement of faith (Heb. 11:6). Joseph’s situation required faith (vs. 18-19). Apart from having faith in God’s Word concerning his situation, Joseph would not have been able to deal it. Although you will never face the same situation Joseph faced, there will be times when you’ll be disappointed, heart-broken and troubled. The only thing that will get you through is FAITH.

II. The FEELINGS of Joseph—He was sensitive to Mary.

A. His choices:
1. Have Mary stoned (Dt. 22:13-21).
2. Give her a bill of divorcement. This would have left her destitute and because of the baby, no other man would want to marry her.
3. Marry her and raise the child as if it were his own. This last op-tion would rarely have been chosen by a Jewish man.
None of these options were appealing to Joseph. But he had to choose one of them. We are often faced with some tough choices in life. Put yourself in Joseph’s place. What would you do? Would you think the worse? Would you call the whole thing off? Would you demand justice?
B. His compassion: Joseph was not only just, but also compassion¬ate. His justice was not that which only followed the letter of the law; instead it was tempered with love, mercy, and compassion.

III. The FIDELITY of Joseph.

Fidelity involves believing and acting upon what God has said.
1. In every instance, Joseph's obedience was immediate and com¬plete. He never quibbled or questioned God’s plan.
2. Obedience is not always easy. Joseph’s step of faith would risk bringing reproach on his reputation.
•Jesus was accused of being a bastard son (John 8:39-41). In other words, “We know who our father is and we know about your birth. Your mother was pregnant before she was married. Your birth is the birth of an illegitimate.”
•Joseph took Mary as his wife because He believed God. He was willing to bear the reproach of believing God.
•Joseph knew people were talking about him and Mary. “Some man has been with Mary. Was it you Joseph? If the baby is yours, it is not right. If it is not yours, it’s not right!”
•Joseph knew something they did not know.

Joseph is an example for all fathers! He faced a crisis with FAITH in God; FIDELITY to God’s Word; and FEELINGS for the one he loved. To me, he is the real hero of the Christmas story. Imagine how the Christmas story would have been altered had Joseph acted differently!

God chose Joseph to be the surrogate father of Jesus because he was yielded to the will of the Lord. We ought to look at our own lives and ask ourselves, "Am I the kind of person that God could use in a big way?"
Is your home the kind of home God would choose to raise His Son?